Namrata Shirodkar was born on 22 January 1972 in Mumbai. Namrata has a sister, Shilpa Shirodkar, who is also a Bollywood actress. This 5’6” tall beautiful and elegant lady started out her career as a model before winning the Miss India beauty pageant in 1993.
Namrata started modeling from the tender age of sixteen. She was considered an enigma during her modeling career. Labeled as ‘enfant terrible’ during her modeling days, people still talk about her bold, brazen and impulsive behavior. Namrata was considered quite a contradiction; loved by some and misunderstood by others.
In 1993, after winning the Miss India pageant, Namrata represented India in the Miss Universe competition. In Miss Universe, Namrata narrowly missed being one of the winners. She came fourth in the pageant. This is the time when the rest of the world woke up and started taking note of Namrata Shirodkar.
However, after Miss Universe, Namrata continued modeling for a few years before deciding to take a plunge into acting. Namrata’s debut film in 1998 was Jab Pyar Kissise Hota Hai starring Salman Khan and Twinkle Khanna. This film did very averagely. In the same year she acted in Hero Hindustani with Arshad Warsi. This film sank without much notice.
It was only after her small but very realistic role in Vaastav opposite Sanjay Dutt got her the attention that was long overdue. Once Vaastav was released, Namrata became a regular in all Mahesh Manjrekar’s films. Namrata went on to act in a number of films. However, most of her films were very average or flops. She acted in a number of supporting roles in films like Pukar, Hera Pheri and Astitva. These films fared well in the box office.
Namrata has always endeavored to do sensible and realistic roles. She has no qualms about doing non-glamorous roles like she did in Aghaaz and Tera Mera Saath Rahen. In 2004, Namrata acted as Aishwarya Rai’s older sister in Bride and Prejudice. This film was a huge success, specially in the UK. With her acting, Namrata has broken the myth of models being unable to act.
In February 2005 Namrata got married to Mahesh Babu, a popular Telegu actor. They have a son who was born in August 2006. After marriage, Namrata has given up acting and is content being a homemaker and a mother. Her photogenic face and the magnetic presence on the ramp will be missed by photographers and fashion designers.